Arsenal Lose … by Trying Not To Lose

The starting lineup:

Leno, AMN,Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal, Willock, Guendouzi, Ceballos, Xhaka, Aubameyang and Pepe. This was the side that was going to keep our unbeaten strike alive hmm? I thought Lacazatte not starting a very strange one.

 

First Half

Arsenal started the game nervously making a few defensive errors while trying to pass the ball from the back. We are lined up differently with a back four and diamond in the middle with Ceballos at the tip and xhaka at the base (OH BOY). It seems Emery wanted to win the midfield battle and then release PEA and Pepe. It nearly worked when Pepe was released and Adrian trying to clear the ball gave it to PEA, but his chip went narrowly wide.

The most glaring error came when was Ceballos had dropped deep and then tried to hit a cross ball but instead passed it straight to Mane. Luckily Leno kept it out. There was some good work from Willock on the left nutmegging Arnold and giving the ball to PEA who then feds Pepe whose curling shot was narrowly wide of the post.

Arsenal allowed Liverpool’s FBs to cross the ball far too often. I was extremely nervous of this after last week against Burnley when we missed a lot of headers.

Another chance came when Pepe ran onto a though ball and beat the last defender, but he didn’t get enough power in the shot.

As often happens, we miss a chance and then the opposition scores as they did when Matips then put Liverpool one in front from a corner just before half time.

Poor defending from the corner let us down once again. Why was  Gendouzi marking Matip? The last few time we have visited Anfield the game was all but over by half time so I was pleased we were still in with a fighting chance today at this point.

 

Second Half

Not a great start.

Another lapse in defense this time from our most experienced defender who tugged on Salah’s jersey led to a penalty (what was he even thinking) and it was 2 nil to Liverpool. What was so infuriating about this goal was that it came 46th minute, Luiz shouldn’t be losing his concentration so early into the second half.

In the 51st minute Pepe slipped a ball through to PEA who was clearly offside, but the recovering tackle form Matip was amazing – why don’t we get that type of desire from our defenders. Later Luiz decided to jump out of the way Salah’s way and left the defense exposed and the Egyptian was clinical making it 3-0.

At this point, Emery decided to make a change bringing on Torreira on for Ceballos. I didn’t understand the move because at 3 nil down surely we should be attacking not trying to defend a 3 nil deficit. Liverpool just kept slicing us open and we were lucky not to concede another.

With 10 minutes to go Emery now decided to bring on Lacazette and within four minutes,Torrerira had made it 3-1. With 6 minutes to go there wasn’t enough time for a comeback. The side began to play with more confidence with Lacazette who looked lively and called for a hand ball but wasn’t given. Full Time 3-1

 

Conclusion

I’m still not sure how to feel after this defeat. If PEA or Pepe had taken their chances game might have turned out differently. Today was a real test and what I wanted from it was for us to show that we are improving. If we are going to play anti-football at least do it with some conviction. Should we be even be playing anti-football with our squad we have one of the best front 3’s in football?

Under Emery we seem to lack an identity, one minute we pressing the next we playing defensively. In the Burnley game I saw the passing out from the back worked on just one occasion – we have been practicing this for an entire year. (I watched Norwich today and they seem to be able to pass out from the back way better than we ever do).

 

Ratings

Leno – Little he could do for the goals, didn’t he have a stealer penalty record in Germany hmm … 6

AMN – should have given us some more width but seem he was instructed to defend rather than attack … 5

Sokratis – needs to stop pulling the person he is marking … 6

David Luiz – The reason I didn’t want him to be bought was shown in full effect in second half, was decent in first half … 4

Monreal – Wasn’t able to help the team today, better defending could have stopped the third goal… 5

Guendouzi – made some good dribble to bring the ball out … 6

Wiilock – another good performance … 7

Ceballos – sloppy passing almost leading to a Mane goal … 4

Xhaka – tried some long ball to find the attacker … 5

Aubameyang –  should have scored when mistake was made by Adrian … 5

Pepe – had to great chances unlucky not to covert … 5

 

Subs

Torreira – scored our consolation goal, hopefully he ready to start am sick of xhaka… 6

 

Emery – was guyilty of overthinking things I believe. He lined up today not to lose, rather than to win the game … 3

fred1266

 

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59 Responses to Arsenal Lose … by Trying Not To Lose

  1. Sue says:

    The 2 things i wanted to see were – PAL & Torreira… not saying we’d have won with them, but if your best players are fit, bloody play them!! Sheesh…..
    So, another loss to those bell ends. So gutted for our fans.. one in particular, on another blog, said that they were being laughed at in the car park & offered refunds on their tickets….urgh…well my wait goes patiently (😳) on for them to lose… and to shut up their big headed, arrogant fans..
    I wish i was more like my son, he turned 13 yesterday, the result didn’t bother him, he still had his Arsenal shirt on… me, on the other hand, felt like my world had ended 😭 and if City & Newcastle lose later, i think i really will lose the will to live….🤪

  2. foreverinourshadows says:

    So frustrating and the diamond formation was a joke, starting with Xhaka and Guendouzi was a disaster waiting to happen, I would have had Torreira with Willock. What was Emery thinking about totally clueless against Liverpool, you get the sneaky feeling nothing has change since Wenger left, shame as I thought with the right players and formation we could have given Liverpool a better game, but when you play players out of position and leave Lacazette on the bench, you are asking for trouble. Let’s hope next week’s game he gets it right

  3. fred1266 says:

    Hearing Monreal might leave

  4. RC78 says:

    Emery also had a difficult career at Psg for away games especially against bigger teams. He sometimes troes to be too cute and clever with his tactics. His original idea was OK but then aftwr we conceded the OK, bring on Lacazette and Torreira immediately.

    And yes Fred, we might see Monreal, Mustafi and El Neny leave before Sept 2. I m not a fan of Monreal but I thought he gave us depth so I d have kept him – I wish him well at Real Sociedad.

    Now – I think things were clear yesterday.
    1) Luiz is not gonna be our saviour. The whole team needs to be defending better
    2) Xhaka and Douzi should not be paired up
    3) lacazette must start when fit and same goes for Torreira
    4) Willock is cut for the EPL
    5) Pepe is a class act.
    6) what are we going to do with Ozil and Mkhy if Ceballos is a starter?
    7) I think that Chambers should be given a chance to be back in the starting line up now. BUT what will happen when Holding comes back?

  5. LB says:

    Thanks for the read Fred.

    The Monreal rumour has been doing the rounds for a while now, the Euro transfer window closes the day after the spud game then there is an international break so that will be the time he goes if at all.

  6. kelsey says:

    On reflection most knew the gap between us and Liverpool was enormous and to a certain extent we can be pleased it wasn’t a mauling.
    The first ten minutes was like The Alamo and conceding a few minutes either side of half time would have killed many a team off.
    Liverpool’s standards under Klopp have raised enormously but it has taken a good few seasons.
    Many are now blaming Emery for his team selection(debatable) and tactics but if he is to be a top manager for us he will hopefully have learnt something and the key areas where to strengthen.

    Luiz was stupid but you see that in every game but in all probability without pulling Salah’s shirt, he still would have scored

    Xhaka again didn’t stamp any authority on the game and Monreal yet again got caught out of position.

    Maybe Pepe should have scored but he will be awesome and no mean task to make your debut at Anfield.

    We were always second best but one can’t fault our work rate
    .
    Disappointed but there is light at the end of the tunnel as we won’t face a side like this very often .Standards now from the top sides have to keep on improving and despite the win there was criticism that they conceded a goal.

    Defence remains a priority as does our best midfield formation, whilst Ozil sits at home.

  7. fatgingergooner says:

    Just going to re-post my thoughts from last night as they haven’t changed despite reading some negativity around the blogs and online. I’m not sure what people expect from Arsenal and Emery but I thought we did ok yesterday.

    So just watched the game as I’ve been at Yorkshire Wildlife Park all day. I already knew the result so was able to watch without emotion which I find makes it far easier to assess. Here’s my thoughts for what they’re worth.

    Every side that goes to Anfield this season will get a battering in the first 10 minutes as that’s how Liverpool play. They pressed straight into us and got after us from the whistle. It’s difficylt to say what can be done about that but what I would say is that after surviving those first 10, I thought the next 20 were very good from Arsenal and we found a way into the game.

    The first goal is always key in these games. If Pepe had scored when through then this could’ve been a different story, but to concede just before and just after half time will kill any side. It’s even worse when you gift them the goals.

    I thought our shape was actually ok. We played a diamond with Ceballos at the point and Xhaka deep. Yes, we were very narrow and allowed their full backs space, but actually they didn’t test Leno really from the crosses that came in and it was other parts of our overall play that cost us.

    Pepe was fantastic and if you don’t get excited watching him and Auba linking together then I don’t know what to say. I really hope we see the trio soon with Lacazette coming in to see what we can really do. His finishing needs work but his running and eye for pass were on show again.

    I hate to say ‘I told you so’ but it was a corner that proved our downfall. No excuses really. Poor marking and good delivery will always result in goals conceded.

    David Luiz…..the way I see him is as a player who will give you 7/10 for 32 games a season and you’ll barely mention his name, but then he’ll give you 2/10 for 6 games a season and that’s all you remember him for. No doubt he was at fault today although I will add that I think Monreal is experienced enough to know that clipping Salahs heel on the edge of the box and getting a yellow is the right thing to do in the build up to their 3rd goal. Just be nasty for once in your life!!!

    Willock was outstanding and looks every bit a new star in our midfield and exactly what we need. What’s not to love about his energy, composure and ability. Love him.

    Geundouzi’s energy was also a joy but he lacks a bit of refinement. Hopefully that will come with experience and I think his and Willock energy just takes a bit of pressure off Xhaka. Before the first goal I actually thought the midfield 3 were giving us good protection and we looked pretty good until that Pepe miss and set piece lapse in concentration.

    Ceballos was every bit bad as he was good last week. I said last week he reminded me of Cazorla but until he puts in more performances like Burnley I couldn’t trust him like I did Cazorla as he seems to have a mistake in him. Well I wasn’t wrong and we certainly saw the worst of him today. It wasn’t a lack of effort, but it was just too fast for him today and he couldn’t get going.

    I said it last week and I’ll say it again, we must continue playing out from the back. This will be arguable the hardest ground to do it at this season so I’m not going to dismiss it based on today. City are fantastic at it and the reason why is because teams are scared of them and don’t want to press onto them. They have an aura that we don’t have right now and it will take a season of winning lots of games and punishing teams before we can have the same sort of image. As the results get better, playing out from the back will become easier.

    I loved that our heads didn’t drop and at no point did I feel like I was watching one of Wengers sides getting a battering at Anfield. The effort was there, at times the quality was there, but Liverpool are just further along than we are right now and have better players at peak confidence and form. In the past I’d be happy to sit here ripping into players, but I don’t feel they deserve that and for the first time in a while I actually like our players and want them to succeed.

  8. fatgingergooner says:

    Some might be negative about Emery’s tactics but when you go to Anfield the first rule is to get through the first 10 minutes unscathed (which we did), and the build yourself into the game (which we did). If we had scored first (we had the more clear-cut chances in the first 40 minutes), or even marked correctly at the corner and gone in 0-0, then it would’ve been a perfect plan. Emery can’t account for poor marking at a corner (and our lack of height) or missing one-on-ones in his tactics.

    At 1-0 down you could argue he could’ve changed things, but the second half was 3 minutes old when we gave away another goal so who knows what his tactical tweaks were or how they would’ve affected the game? At 2-0 down you are suddenly very susceptible to counter attacks so does Emery go all out attack and risk losing big as some have suggested, or does he continue with the game plan and just change like for like (Ceballos for Torreira with Willock pushing further forward).

    Personally, I don’t have much issue with the performance or the tactics. The fact is, Liverpool have better players and a better execution and understanding of their gameplan. These things take time and it won’t happen overnight for us. When I look at the game I think our players were close to their top levels (Ceballos and Luiz not included as they had poor games) and certainly have full effort.

    I have to disagree about our defenders ‘lacking desire’ – Sokratis got injured at one point as he and Luiz both flew in to block a goal bound effort from Firmino. I think that was at 3-0 so if the desire is there at 3-0 down then I don’t think it’s an issue.
    I also have to disagree that we tried anti-football or shouldn’t be playing that way. It’s Liverpool at Anfield and probably only City have a team good enough to go there and stamp their authority on the match and dictate play.

  9. LBG says:

    Ginger
    Have to agree wholeheartedly with your last. The chasm between the two teams may not still be Death Valley size, but it’s still significant.
    Fred
    Cant agree at all with “anti football”. With hindsight and no professional experience at coaching, it was the methodology of achieving the two on two at the back for Liverpool, that could have been done differentlyIMO. If Pepe and Aubang had scored 1/2 of those chances, the game could have been different! Absolutely certain myself, if we had gone gungho at start attacking would have lost by as many as last year at least.
    Re future defence
    Chambers should get a proper go at CB and when, soon hopefully, Holding is back, he and Chambers should be the new partnership. Sokratis is only a journeyman stop gap in the Premier League.(His Greek mate is a better future option, if he could remain injury free).

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    LBG,

    When I look at Pep’s teams, his ethos is pretty simple really….11 players who can attack and defend. If I look at our team I don’t quite see that balance just yet and I think the main area is the CB pairing and the 1 or 2 just in front. We need 2 ball playing CB’s if we are to really move forward (Holding is one and hopefully Saliba can play) and we need to make sure our midfield players contribute goals/assists but also have the work rate and discipline to help us defend. I like the idea of Willock pairing up with someone in the middle but I could also see him being slightly further forward with 2 behind. Torreira has shown an ability to nick a goal and although he’s not getting in the side right now I think him and Willock with Ceballos just in front could be the answer for this season at least. I believe that would give us a threat from midfield but also an energy and tenacity that teams might struggle to deal with.

  11. fred1266 says:

    7. From what we saw last season holding is the better defend so bring him back in and see which pair is the best

    I hearing mustafi Might leave ages now, if mustafi did that shit luiz did there would be he’ll to pay

    Chas i finally Start back getting command to my email yeppy

  12. Pat7 says:

    Good morning all and having read the write up, thanks Fred, and all the comments have to agree with FGG. I was hoping to see our super 3 go head to head but we don’t know the fitness of Laca so maybe he was protected a bit for next week or kept in reserve in case Pepe didn’t last the course – he just made it :-).

    Yes, we gave away the wings but did well protecting our centre and the crosses and I’d say we had the best of chances in the first half. I’m not sure if we were back to full concentration when Luiz saw Salah slip in and grabbed his shirt. I can’t blame him for that. Despite the rule change with VAR all players are still grabbing shirts and it will take time to get this habit out of their game, especially one that’s been playing the whole of his career like that!
    So, 2-0 down and then 3. At this point I thought we looked doomed to another bashing with half hour to go but not sure whether Pool lost the desire a bit knowing the game was won or maybe they tired too – maybe a bit of both.
    We played out the game and our heads didn’t drop, gained a bit more confidence and got a consolation, one back. I thought on the day we were just not as well oiled or confident as them. We have 3 first teamers waiting to join the crew and I look forward to a better match next time, maybe with better tactics by then if all goes well.
    I’m hoping Ceballos gets up to speed for that one, the young players replace Xhaka, Mhki, Ozil, and Burton makes the jump to back Tierney……. I’m happy with Luiz for the mo’ but we do need better coaching/players in this area.

  13. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Fred
    Good report.

    I don’t think you were criticising Leno when you asked what had happened to the stellar penalty-saving reputation he had in Germany, but that was one hell of a penalty from Salah. You’d have to be Doctor Octopus to have a chance of saving it (and even then you couldn’t be certain).

    FGG – great comments – I agree with all (except one minor quibble which I’ll come to later).

    I had hopes for this game and I think if a few things had gone slightly differently it might have ended up as a closer result. But it’s also true that, as FGG says, Liverpool are ahead of us at the moment and it will take time to catch up.

    My quibble with FGG is with playing out from the back. I completely accept his analysis of how we need to persevere with it and how it will become more effective the more we punish teams that try to press us, and yet…

    …at this stage of the season and with a new-look line-up I think it was rash against this particular opponent. At times the Liverpool high press meant that Leno had to roll the ball out to a defender standing almost at our own corner flag. Having the ball at your own corner flag is one of the least optimal positions to be in in a match, yet we were placing ourselves in that position through our own choice. After 10 minutes UE should have given the instruction to have Leno kick long.

    By all means play out from the back against 17 teams in the EPL, but perhaps not against Liverpool and Man City.

  14. Pete Maish says:

    Nice analysis here. For me I think Torreira and Laca should have started ahead of Guendozzi and Willock or Ceballos. Guendozzi adds zero to this team in my opinion. He kept escorting Mane from the halfway line all the way to his box. In fact I don’t remember him dispossessing any Liverpool player. Too average in this star-studded line up.
    One more thing, what was this nonsense of always trying to start at the back in almost all goal kicks? You do not score a goal by remaining in your own box forever! Anyway, Unai knows best but I think yesterday he messed up big time. For a moment I kept wondering, “Aren’t we giving Liverpool too much respect by relegating ourselves to our box?”. This only changed whenever Xhaka hit a long pass and until Torreira was brought on at 3-0 down. He is one player who will not escort an opponent to his own box.
    Maybe we need Kolasinac to start ahead of Monreal. The latter’s slow pace and backward thinking by always passing the ball backwards was telling yesterday.
    Unai should be careful next time he is meeting a top four opponent. Yesterday, his tactics fell flat on the face. To me, it seems like the boys were instructed to ‘LOSE 3-1 AND NOT 6-1.’ Do that against Spuds and your goose is cooked next week.
    Enough said!

  15. fred1266 says:

    Better coaching he 32, what Exactly u want to coach him

  16. RockyLives says:

    Another thing to bear is mind is that ‘Pool had pretty much their strongest team on the pitch yesterday.

    It’s quite likely that UE’s strongest team later in the season will be something like:
    Leno
    Bellerin-Holding-Luiz-Tierney
    Torreira-Ceballos*-Guendouzi/Willock
    Pepe-Lacazette-Aubameyang

    *if Dani can settle in to playing more like he did against Burnley and less the way he did against Liverpool. I’m still very optimistic about him – he is still right at the beginning of his Premier League learning curve so it’s bound to take time to adapt.

  17. fred1266 says:

    I watched Manu palace yesterday and a defended pulled martial jersey and even tackled him to the ground and they didn’t get a penalty so guess we were unlucky to be given one

  18. fred1266 says:

    No wasn’t criticising Leno but I think he got a few since since he been at the club and I remember hearing he was a good penalty stopper so have been hopeful he would have saved a few

  19. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Fred, I almost entirely agree with your views and your post title. Also RC78 @9.55, every point is spot on.

    The positives from this game were as follows:

    1. we can see that we have the depth and variety to change things from our bench, and Pepe I think will soon start to terrorise teams.

    2. Willock indeed looks a great BTB player completely suited to the EPL and with quality as well. Scarily (good for us) he will also improve further.

    3. We have some great players individually and I feel this will be a stronger EPL campaign for us overall. We should have enough to beat most of the teams that we should beat with less banana skins.

    4. Torreira has again shown he has an eye for goal and the ability to drive forwards in addition to his tackling and defensive tenacity. He looks another great potential BTB player, but this raises the conundrum of who plays the holding midfield position to allow him to play to his peak.

    Right though, after that I have to say that Emery completely and utterly cocked this up with his tactical line up. The thing is you know what to expect from Liverpool. You know they want to start fast and play at a high pace, and you pretty much know they will line up in a 4-3-3 and you can pretty much predict their team.

    If you know all this then the last thing you should do is set up to play into their hands. We completely ceded the initiative to Liverpool and literally provided them with a line up that enhanced their strengths. We were largely dominated for the 90 minutes and it was somewhat of that siege type of game that I mentioned last week we had to try and avoid.

    We had moments in the game, but we had quality players out there so we will always create some dangerous moments, even against top sides. Yes Liverpool are better and ahead of us at present, but I disagree that the huge difference we saw yesterday was about the individual quality of each player in both sides. They are arguably a bit ahead in that department, but this performance was mostly about the line up and the combinations of players that compliment each other.

    Klopp has his line up and combinations spot on, Emery well…….I know we are a work in progress that will improve, but even that cannot explain how we were so dominated yesterday. I don’t think we can hide behind that argument for yesterday. Emery doesn’t seem to know his strongest 11 and looks a tad confused on this, and also doesn’t seem to read what the opposition are about that well.

    I didn’t necessarily expect us to beat Pool but I think we should have been a lot closer to them, and should have given them a big scare in this game, so even in (a narrow) defeat we could argue massive progress, and then reflect on us still being a work in progress to further bridge that gap as we improve.

    Why experiment with line-ups away at Anfield. That is suicide. We actually lined up with a shit 4-4-2 in reality, that made us into the narrow diamond we saw because the midfield 4 didn’t comprise any natural wingers that could make it a traditional 4-4-2.

    Liverpool want to get their full-backs forward and this line up entirely allowed them to do this, resulting in us being pinned back. When we broke we looked dangerous but lacked that extra forward to capitalise. Only 1 player I know but these fine margins can make a huge difference.

    We should have matched their front 3 with our own, and had both Pepe and Auba launch counter-attacks down the flanks where their full-backs had vacated their position. The difference then is that with Laca as a third forward your chances of converting that attack into a goal increase significantly.

    If we score great but if not and we go close a couple of times then their full-backs likely become more reserved and sit back a bit more. Then we are not pinned in as much and the whole dynamic of the game changes away from what they want, to pin us back.

    Douzi and Xhaka don’t work well together and Emery’s insistence on continuing with this is troubling. The whole team was not balanced in itself but certainly not balanced to counter Liverpool and cause them problems. It felt like a collection of good individuals rather a coherent and complimentary team and that, as well as continuing with things that don’t work when we have better options, does have a Deja Vu feeling with the latter part of the AW era.

    The thing is we are up against top coaches in Klopp, Guardiola and, dare I say it, Pochettino in the EPL. Managers who not only have excellent players but also know how to make that collection of individuals work to its best and know their strongest line up. Do we have a top coach like that?

    Emery still had my support even after the capitulation at the end of last season. He still has my support but yesterday gave me cause for concern, that he is not the top coach we eventually need but just a decent one. My manager confidenceometer has taken a hit.

    I think RC78 said at the end of last season that he feels Emery is a decent coach but not the eventual one we need to really get us competing again. More of a stop gap to somewhat reset the team and its mentality.

    Maybe this tactical cock up will be a one off with Emery and he will find his strongest 11 line up and we will become something far more formidable, because I do feel that we have, on paper, a squad that can be very formidable if we get the combinations right. He has to do this quickly though because we all know what is coming next week.

    We have a a far superior squad of players now that can suit 2-3 strong systems so there are huge positives following the summer TW. Yesterday, however, was a mish mash of poorly combined players that didn’t suit the opposition or the game, and not really a reflection of the quality of player we have at our disposal.

  20. fred1266 says:

    peaches has to take credit for title post GB

  21. Rasp says:

    Aherm … Peaches is abroad … I do all the editing 😂

  22. fatgingergooner says:

    Fred,

    What do you think would’ve happened if Salah had thrown himself to the floor when his shirt was pulled like he normally does? I actually believe that if he’d gone down he would’ve been booked for diving and no penalty given. Sure, Luiz pulled his shirt but that happens every week and it didn’t stop his momentum as he was still first to the ball. I thought it was harsh and it’s a shame he didn’t collapse to the floor! 😂

  23. fred1266 says:

    No just stating that we were unlucky to get a penalty against us while the other game were there was more than a pulling of the shirt they didn’t get anything

    Is it just me seems the refs were against us yesterday remember before the goal when they stop the game for a red card offence, then we’ll the shirt pull a soft penalty imo and then commentators were saying if matip hadn’t score they would have given a penalty for holding

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    GB,

    I think that’s a little harsh. If you look at the first 40 minutes, we actually created the better chances. I think it’s unfair to look at the game and say it was poor tactics because if we had scored first (which we very easily could have) then it would’ve been perfect tactics. I imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle. Would Pepe and Auba had as much space to create the dangerous counters if we’d played 3 up top and pinned their full backs back? I doubt it, so you could argue that by being narrow in midfield and letting them onto us we created more space and more dangerous situations on the break.

    I agree that Emery doesn’t know his first 11, but I think he’s getting quite a lot out of the players we have and has been doing so since he came in. We were a sorry bunch at the beginning of last season yet could and probably should have finished 4th. This year, we have an exciting team yet a lot of new faces, a lot of young players, and a lot of unfit/injured players. I think he’s getting a good return so far from the players and the energy and effort we play with is a joy to watch. Hopefully when we get Tierney, Bellerin, Holding, Torreira, Özil and Lacazette to full fitness we will see just how good this team can be and we can see exactly what Emery intends to do with the side. Having said that, Emery does seem to be a manager who adapts a lot to the opposition so I’m not sure he has a preferred style that we will see week in week out. I imagine he has 4 or 5 ways of playing and uses them depending on the opponent. Maybe the home games against the lesser sides will be when we see ‘plan A’.

  25. fatgingergooner says:

    How good is the cricket btw!?

    Not a big fan but can’t stop watching.

  26. fred1266 says:

    I watched Southampton game last week they played well against Liverpool and also heard that Norwich played really well against Liverpool and only because of Alison they didn’t concede

    Maybe if we played or game and have a better go at Adrian we would have had more of a chance

    Something I notice about emery he likes changing his tactics according to the oppenent and he rarely gets it right

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Fred,

    One of the best coaches in the world and he ‘rarely gets it right’??? 🤔

    Norwich got battered for 45 minutes and then Liverpool eased off second half. For Southampton, Liverpool we’re away from home and had played 120 minutes midweek in the Super Cup and looked tired.

    We got Liverpool at home and after a full weeks rest and with a fully fit side. Of course we could’ve gone there and tried to attack more but we’ve done that in the past and been battered and the game over after 20 minutes.

    You need luck in these games and more importantly you need to score first. Look at the game when we won 2-0 at City a few years ago. We had a similar game plan, sat back, got dominated but we got the first goal and had something to defend. The only difference yesterday was we didn’t take our chance when it came at 0-0.

  28. RA says:

    FGG

    We were doing OK (hark at me with the ‘we’!!) 😁 before lunch, other that Joe Root being out early on — just after lunch we went a bit doolally, as Bairstow played a loose shot and was caught — Butler came in and was run out in a mix-up with Stokes, and now Stokes and Woakes are doing their best.

    We needed 359 to win, it is now down 98.

    Come on England. 😜

  29. RA says:

    Woakes is out!

    England are doomed. Mr Mainwaring!!!

  30. fred1266 says:

    Yes FGG

    Last season not automatically quantifying for CL
    Losing UL
    Having a losing away record

  31. fred1266 says:

    Am basically talking about when he tries to be chicky and change the style he rarely gets it right

  32. RA says:

    I feel I am repeating myself repeating myself in saying that this nonsense about I say about playing the ball out from the penalty area may or may not I say may or may not, be a modern tactic that pays pays benefits.

    The problem for Arsenal is that we start on the halfway line and play towards the penalty area — our penalty area, before I say before losing the pill.

    The reason for this is the second problem, we just do not have the players capable of dealing with the short passing needed against a team like ‘Pool who are super fit and really fast, and press their opponents so hard.

    It is a rubbish tactic for Arsenal!! I say, rubbish for Arsenal Arsenal. 😁

    I know, I know, Rocky and Slim Ginger disagree with me and myself, I say myself and me, but they are, as Liam Brady would say, eejits — eejits they are.

  33. GoonerB says:

    FGG, it might not seem like it but I thought hard before making my comment knowing that it was the opposite to yourself and other respected bloggers on here who, I more often than not, have a similar opinion to and agree with.

    There is a lot to be excited about with us at the moment. We have an exciting squad and the movers and shakers behind the scenes at Arsenal seem to be getting their act together. That all bodes well as a springboard foundation.

    However, I stand by my thoughts on Emery and his tactics with this game, which I know is just one game, but reflect also on some other decisions we have seen him make over the last year in addition to yesterday.

    Emery, however long his tenure, will have brought something positive to us as the club tries to re-establish itself again. His job obviously shouldn’t rest on winning the EPL, but I would expect a mini quantum leap in our performances and progression this year with what we now have in the squad.

    We have the capability of winning something, maybe one of the 2 domestic cups, but also I feel we need to show that we are, for the most, not slipping up with teams we are significantly superior to, and even more importantly that we are getting very close to the top 2 in the EPL when we face off against them.

    We need to show that we are right in these big games even if we end up just falling short. Yesterday I never felt we were in the game. Those moments we had had were fleeting, not dissimilar to a lower table side having the odd moment while mostly just hanging in there, and really I felt we were dominated in a way that didn’t reflect the quality of player we have in our squad.

    I honestly didn’t see the game as turning on a twist of fate that may have turned in our favour if we had taken one of our chances. I think Emery ceded to Klopp tactically and unnecessarily and even if we had taken an early chance I feel Pool would have still dominated and come back into it scoring at least 3 goals. One could argue that at 3-0 it was won and they took their foot off the pedal somewhat sparing us further goals against.

    I tend to agree with you that Emery maybe reacts to the other team but that can be a good thing but also a bad thing if it is too extreme. The top teams have an identity and style based on a strongest line up with minor tweaks at times to nullify another top side, but not unusual wholesale changes in formations and player combinations.

    Something doesn’t feel quite right to me looking at how he approached the game yesterday in conjunction with other decisions made over the last year, and my gut tells me that Emery will be a short term decent manager with us, but that we are still searching for our next great manager. As I always say I hope he proves me wrong, but if by the end of the season we look no closer to competing in the big games against the top teams then I feel we look elsewhere.

  34. Rasp says:

    Stokes unbelievable in the cricket … what cojones

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    BEN FUCKING STOKES!!!!

  36. RA says:

    That’s the best game of cricket I have ever seen — woooo — Strokesy — sign him up Embers!!

    Wow — Just …….. Wow. 😁😁😁😁😁

  37. LB says:

    Amazing, we should sign him……..

  38. RA says:

    Umm — forgot to say — England won — when there was no chance ——- except with Ben Stokes and Jack Leach anything is possible!!! 😜

  39. RC78 says:

    We re getting rid of Monreal, Mustafi and El Neny before Sept 2nd so our squad will be

    Leno, Martinez
    Bellerin, AMN
    Holding, Luiz, Sok, Chambers, Mavro
    Tierney, Kola
    Torreira, Xhaka
    Guendouzi, Willock
    Ceballos, Ozil, Mkhy
    Pepe, RN, Auba
    Laca

    From this team, we can see that we d still need a DM and maybe a RB and a ST.
    It also begs the question on whether Emery will actually put Luiz or Chambers to compete with Xhaka for the DM position…

  40. Rasp says:

    Does anyone have some follow up thoughts from today’s discussion for a post tomorrow?

  41. RockyLives says:

    Best game of cricket I’ve seen since… er… the World Cup Final a few weeks ago 😀

  42. Sue says:

    Just got home from eating out to see City won 3-1 (Sergio 😍)
    Arsenal women beat spud women 6-0
    And Newcastle are 1 up 😎

    Also saw on twitter, there was a guy at Celtic’s game earlier, in the crowd, with an Arsenal shirt on, with Tierney on the back 😂 it didn’t go down too well & i wonder if he made it out of the ground alive!!

  43. Aaron says:

    Well, we got what I thought we were going to get.

    Emery’s setup almost nicked a goal, BUT, man, pool owned us. I watched the game 2 times and I felt the press from pool was absolutely eating our team alive.

    4-4-2, what the heck, really, setting up our defense, which really is a not a well worked defense to absorb pressure was anti-futbol and suicide.

    The defenders from pool put in 23 crosses, the Arsenal made 3, yes 3 passes inside their 18 yard box. The Arsenal could not get it to the 2 players up top, and it was painful to watch. Play it out the back instead of having Leno just hoof it pass the midway line for a 50/50 was inviting pressure. The stats part said pool 52% possession and the Arsenal 48% for the game, but the Arsenal only had 12% of our possession in their final third, 3 passes in the 18 yard box- translation the Arsenal had no meaningful ball movement in pools final third, and were always under pressure just to get it off the back touchline.

    And Luiz, for goodness sake, I just hope those are the last two grade school errors he makes for a while. sheeesh.

    So, xhaka out, Tor in if he is fit. The entire back line except AMN are slow, and maybe go with Chambers, at least they might have a better chance until, Bel, Hold and Tierney come into the squad. The big if, is Bel, Hold and Tierney coming back to full fitness!

    Positives, Pepe, Willock, and Guen, felt bad for Ceballos. Welcome to the EPL mate. Just read a comment about the $h*tTy having 4 players drop back simultaneously to provide an outlet for the defense moving the ball from the back; do the Arsenal with current squad ever do this? I know it takes time, but Ceballos was left for dead and Xhaka put everyone under direct pressure with his sideways passes.

    It seemed the Arsenal played better when Laca and Tor came on but, then again pool was on cruise control by then.

    Emery better make some changes against the spuds or we shall see much of the same, lather, rinse, and repeat.

  44. fred1266 says:

    Great win by Newcastle

  45. Sue says:

    Thank you, Newcastle… brilliant!!! 👊

  46. Joe says:

    Given that Newcastle won, this defeat doesn’t mean much. Will need a win next week, though.

  47. LB says:

    Didn’t expect a Newcastle win, I would have watched it or maybe not, every time I turn on the telly to revel in spuds misery they score.

  48. RockyLives says:

    Haha LB

    I have long since stopped tuning in to Spud games with a few minutes go when they’re drawing or losing. It always ends in tears (mine).

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    3rd begins City and Liverpool after 3 games. If we are still there after 4 I’ll be delighted with that start.

  50. LBG says:

    GoonerB
    Thought long and hard and ( as you might be guessing) got to side with Ginger and not you ( for once).
    Dicks positives for me – getting more out of a number of players than when he first arrived – obviously Willock, but even Ouzi, AM-N ( in the wrong position) and Sokratis are to my mind showing a little more discipline.
    Proactive and reactive in style, which whether one approves completely or not is IMO, better than latter day AW.

    Agree doesn’t know best 11 or where they should play, and significantly doesn’t have best 11 fit.
    Like Ginger, and speculating, believe any one of our three significant chances taken and I believe it would have been a different game. (Likewise if he hadn’t started with diamond and had started Chambers at CB and Daviid in front of them, as previously reiterated).
    Overall impressed with evidence of some discipline (except Daviid), more guts and determination, and the thought that “things are getting better”.
    Vieira in three years time!

  51. AKINZO says:

    If you are a proper Gunner, you will be garnishing your teeth and feel very low at the moment.
    Like many, if you hadn’t already concluded that Mr Emery is perhaps the wrong choice as out manager, the tendency to do so must surely br gnawing at you.
    So many a Gunner have given a damned conclusion on what a bad tactician the Spaniard is, wondering why he would adopt the kind of negative tactics Arsenal dispalyedagainst Liiverpoolon Saturday.
    They seemed to have forgotten so soon how the Scouce overran the mighty Barcelona in CL last season. Few weeks before the clash at Anfield, Barca seemed to have destroyed whatever aspiration the Pools had of winning the competition by winning 3-0 and were even expected to repeat their Nou Camp heroics before they were completely blown away 4-0. My question is if Liverpool were able to totally annihilate Barca in such manner why would we expect the same team a few months later not to defeat us? The fact is Klopp had turned Anfield to a fortress and any manager worth his onions must device a way to halt his team from being streamrolled by the European champions.
    Indeed, the much revered Pep Gurdiola often credited for imposing his own tactics on opponents adopted a rare pragmatic approach last when his all conquering side travelled to Anfield.
    We fell scandalously 5-1 last season at the same ground because we played gung-ho and yet many fans felt we should have adopted similar approach just beecause we have added a few faces to our squad!
    Yes, our game wasn’t so pleasing to the eyes on Saturday but this approach must be welcomed pending when we finally manage to breach the gap between us and the duo of City and Pool.
    Quite often, you seen a lot of Arsenal fans while trying to castigate Emery speak glowingly of Pep and Klopp but we’ve all witnessed how heavily their clubs have invested in their squads not just over a season but in several. Emery only has a year with our very average squad and we are already comparing his work with those of Pep and Klopp!
    Last week, a lot of us were sure that Dani Celabos was going to emerge the best player in the EPL and just a week later they only fell short of naming him amongst Arsenal’s worst signing ever.
    It will take him sometime to adapt to the pace and rythmn of the EPL. And mind you, there’s a reason the likes of Asencio, Kroos, Isco, Modric and others are ahead of him at Real. He is a young player that requires time to learn the curve and it’s the reason he is with us this season. He isn’t the finished article a lot of bloggers are making us to believe.
    Then again, we ought not to forget that Arsenal remain work in progress. We have added several fantastic players that would address the gaping shortfalls in the squad. Tienny is a young upgrade in what we have at the LB. He might not be far superior to a young Monreal but at 32 the Spaniard is no longer the warrior he once was and Kolasinac for all his great attributes on the offensive, lacks quality defensive nous.
    Last season we managed 22 unbeaten stream and Rob Holding was essential to that remarkable run. Prior to those games last year he had seemed like just one of the average players that constantly made our BP rise in the defense but he was superb and was one of our best players last season before he ruptured his knee ligament. I expect him to return to the defense and continue his improvement. If that happens, he alongside Saliba and Chamber, whom many don’t rate will form the bedrock of our defence in years to come.
    These days its often a common sight seeing many Arsenal faithful making deriding comments about Guendouzi, arguing that he is out of place in the first team. They probably don’t remember that the lad is only 19. He is definitely not Cesc Fabregas but one cannot be simply excited that he chose to join us judging from his impressive performances since last season.
    Yes, it’s quite true that his performances dovetailed towards the end of last season but that is quite typical of players in their first season in the EPL and same could be said of Lucas Torreira who many have ridiculously claimed to be too short. These players would make Gunners proud in years to come. They with Willock Williams is coming up in leaps amd bounds will become the envy of other opposing fans as the season progresses. But just don’t expect them to become world beaters in one season.
    Already, so much has been said about the prowess of Lacasset and Aubamagang and they will do more damage with the addition of Pepe. If not for poor marksmanship, he could have been the game changer for us at Anfield. We were let down by some poor finishing from him last Saturday but does that make him a poor addition? An emphatic NO! He is billed to bring smiles and cries to the Gunners faithful and our opponents who have derided for the best part of a decade.
    There’s really nothing to highlight on the ability of

    t not have seemed excepexceptional but alas

  52. LBG says:

    AKINZO
    Not gnawing, and dont believe you would have found most of the negative assessments described on this site.
    “Proper Gunners” are far more reflective of the past and the present and are in general, prepared to give new Managers, new and young players time before they throw out the bath water.

  53. AKINZO says:

    Really sorry about the errors on my comment. It was written on my mobile and wasn’t even ready to be forwarded but a little touch on the wrong button and boom. Apologies

  54. Mike M says:

    Well I’m glad that’s over with. Not a game I had chalked up for a win. So we lost. Draw a line under it and move on. I’d hoped we’d play 4-4-2 with Xhaka on the bench but I don’t think it can be put down to him. We missed two great chances to score and put them on the back foot as the tactics were designed to do. As of right now, they’re better than us and we lost. From what I saw, we’ll get better. On the plus side, how good is Joe Willock. He could be a difference maker to us this season. Welcome to the Premier League Dani. He will be awesome too but struggled in the role he was given. But showed loads of heart and fight again.
    No one’s right or wrong here but this was 3 points lost at Anfield. Hope we can keep that perspective.

  55. fred1266 says:

    Hi Mike I was also thinking today if we went back to a 442 but when I thought of the players who we would use I then realised we have no one on the left besides Nelson, u think he up for it

  56. fred1266 says:

    David Luiz warned Arsenal they needed to improve defensively to challenge for the Premier League title.

    Arsenal’s perfect start to the league campaign was ended on Saturday, suffering a 3-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.

    Unai Emery’s men have kept one clean sheet in three Premier League games to start the season and David Luiz said defensive improvement was key.

    “We have to [bring the number of goals down]. I think if you concede a lot of goals you cannot fight for the title so this is one main thing we have to think about and try to reduce and try to make the team stronger,” he told UK media.

    “It is not just about me, it is not just about the defenders, it is about the mentality of the team.”

    Arsenal

    @Arsenal
    “I will never give up… I will never hide, winning or losing”#LIVARS

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    David Luiz gave away a penalty during the loss to Liverpool, while the former Chelsea defender was also beaten by Mohamed Salah for the third goal.

    The 32-year-old believes it could have been a different game had Arsenal taken their chances to grab the lead against the European champions.

    “I think the team already did great against Newcastle, did great against Burnley to understand the kind of game we were playing for,” David Luiz said

    “We were clinical in Newcastle with one clear opportunity we scored and didn’t concede.

    “With Burnley, we were clinical to understand the game is always to play first ball, second ball, fighting. They tried to score with free-kicks and things like that and we did amazing and [against Liverpool] I think it could be a different game if we scored [first] but we did not and so this is about football.

    “Football is like that. Every week is a new history and we have to try and learn and improve our game.”

  57. fred1266 says:

    What rubbish I just read there

  58. Rasp says:

    Morning all …

    … New post …

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